The Politics of Cycling

August 2010
On Wednesday morning, active duty and retired troops healing their war wounds with bicycles were singled out for their service by Governor Bill Ritter during a press conference. I have been riding with the red, white, and blue brigade, called Ride 2 Recovery, that began its trek in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and will finish today at Fort Carson. The governor's praise---delivered to an audience of local riders decked out in spandex to hear legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong announce a new, multi-stage elite race for Colorado in 2011---was another sign of the governor's dedication to the cause, which he shares with the Democrat running for his seat, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. But is it all part of a conspiracy? Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes (pictured) has accused Hickenlooper of allowing the B-Cycle bike-sharing program to infiltrate Denver, where it might well threaten residents' "personal freedoms" and cede local control to a United Nations treaty (via The Associated Press). Denver does belong to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, an association of more than 1,200 communities, half of which are in the United States, notes The Denver Post. George Merritt, a spokesman for Hickenlooper's campaign, says the idea is "to bring cities from all over the world together to share best practices and help create the kinds of communities people want to live and do business in." Bloggers are having a field day with Maes. At Westword, Michael Roberts wonders what's next, pointing to other efforts that might turn us into "globalism-loving, freedom-challenged automatons. Street-side recycling programs send a message that we should be conserving resources, which is bad for reasons we'll think of after running over a B-Cycle in our Hummer." Meanwhile, Maes' primary opponent, former Congressman Scott McInnis, is pressing Maes to explain his history of delinquent personal and political paperwork, writes the Post, in a separate article. And as for Hickenlooper, it looks like he's selected a running mate: Colorado State University-Pueblo President Joe Garcia (also via the Post).